May 3, 2012

Super confused?

Here's a recap of the films leading up to 'The Avengers.'

By ROD HARMON Deputy Managing Editor

(Continued from page 1)

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Robert Downey Jr. plays Tony Stark in the "Iron Man" movies, a role he reprises in "The Avengers."

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Edward Norton plays Bruce Banner in 2008's "The Incredible Hulk."

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"Thor" (2011): The Norse god of thunder is an arrogant bully stripped of his powers and banished to Earth by the all-father Odin after starting a war with some frost giants on another world. Thor retains his memories, though, and sets about getting his hammer back -- which, unbeknownst to him, has had a spell placed on it by Odin so that only "whosoever is worthy" may lift it. He's still an arrogant bully, though, so he can't lift it.

Meanwhile, Thor's evil brother Loki learns that he's really a frost giant's son, usurps Odin's throne in Asgard, and sends the Destroyer (a giant spiky robot) to Earth to kill Thor. The thunder god sacrifices himself to save a town from the Destroyer, thus proving him "worthy" once more. At the end, Thor returns to Asgard and we see Loki attempting to trick Nick Fury, though we know not why.


"Captain America" (2011): Steve Rogers is the epitome of a 98-pound weakling who is so sickly, the Army won't let him enlist in the infantry during World War II. He volunteers to be injected with an experimental "Super Soldier" formula, which transforms him into a mean, lean fighting machine. Unfortunately, a Nazi spy kills the formula's inventor, who apparently forgot to write anything down, because now the formula's lost.

Rogers is outfitted as Captain America and travels the country selling war bonds. While performing at a USO show in Germany, he goes AWOL to rescue some GIs -- including his friend, James "Bucky" Barnes -- who have been kidnapped by the Nazis. Having saved the day, Cap is put on the front lines in pursuit of the Red Skull, an SS commander who took an experimental version of the Super Soldier formula. (See comic book rule No. 2.) Bucky falls to his death while pursuing the Skull, and Cap crash-lands a plane full of doomsday bombs headed to the States into a remote mountain region, presumably dying in the process.

At the end, Captain America is found alive but in a state of suspended animation. He wakes up in New York after being asleep for 70 years, and is approached by Nick Fury, who breaks the news to him. At the end, Fury asks Cap's help in saving the world.


Deputy Managing Editor Rod Harmon may be contacted at 791-6450 or at:

Twitter: RHarmonPPH


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Chris Evans stars as the titular character in "Captain America," from 2011.


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